Cy the Cynic, who isn't known for careful planning anyhow, says that it would be easier to go to Plan B if Plan A had a step that said, "Admit failure and go to Plan B."

Cy was declarer at today's 3NT. He won the first heart with his jack and led a club: eight, king ... and East correctly played low. Cy came back to his king of diamonds and led a second club to the queen, and this time East won and returned a heart.

The Cynic won, went to the ace of diamonds and took the jack of clubs. He hoped for a 3-3 break, but West discarded. When neither diamonds nor spades treated Cy well, he won only eight tricks.


Cy's Plan A might have produced an overtrick, but as it was, he might as well have admitted failure after Trick Two (and then it was too late to go to Plan B). On the first club, Cy must play low from dummy, forcing East to win.

Cy wins the heart return and leads a second club to the king. He is thus sure of three clubs, three hearts, two diamonds and a spade.

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You hold: S K 10 H 9 4 2 D J 9 6 5 C A 10 9 3. Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT, he bids two hearts and you return to two spades. Partner then bids 2NT. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your first two bids showed only six to nine points, but your partner's 2NT says he remains interested in game. Since your values are closer to maximum, and your good club spots and nine of diamonds may prove significant, raise to 3NT, especially if your side is vulnerable.

South dealer

N-S vulnerable

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